Don’t get distracted. Pay attention. Real attention.

Posted by Spike MondayMotivator

You might have read a lot of the articles and outpourings of grief over a talented young Kiwi entrepreneur who died in Kenya, aged 26 last week. There are many people trying to unpack what happened, why it got to that point and even who’s to blame. The media is getting flogged in that regard.

It’s a terrible situation and it’s another waste of a talented, creative person. Although for me, it’s overshadowed the loss of a major creative talent and mate last Thursday, David MacGregor.

During this time I’ve had this thought. It’s all very nice for people to write, “I think something needs to be done about this”. “Stop the tall poppy syndrome”. “My thoughts and prayers are with the family” and so on posts and articles.

But what are people doing about it?

What action did they take to stop this situation from getting to where it did? And there were people who helped.

Did the majority decide to stop participating in the media and stop reading Stuff, NZ Herald et al?

Did they call a friend or parent or colleague they think might be having a hard time?

Did they give themselves a few moments to reflect on their life, their thoughts, their situation and what they would do when faced with public failure? Or any failure.

I don’t know the answer to those questions for them. I’m just seeing a flood of posts from people who don’t appear to know the young man or the situation he was in.

In my opinion, comments like this are the Kiwi version of ‘thoughts and prayers’. They’re useless. And it’s not good enough.

Either do something to make a change. Or say nothing. I feel like I’ve given this too much attention but it’s important to me.

We, as a country, are losing way too many good kids and we don’t seem to know why. I don’t know what to do but I ask this question a lot, How are you?

That’s it. How are you? Stop. Shut up and listen.

Don’t get distracted. Pay attention. Real attention. Not half pie attention. Put the phone down.

Now listen. Look. And you might see something wrong. Something you’ve missed because you’re constantly distracted.

Ask what’s wrong. Keep asking. Make it ok for them to answer. You might have to change from being judgemental. You might have to prove that you’re not judgmental.

But keep asking and you will never know what impact you’ve had on someone else by just asking how are and listening.